Summit Notebook

Exclusive outtakes from industry leaders

Audio – Unemotional Rescue

tellock2.jpg(With apologies to Mick, Keith and the boys)

The Rolling Stones were desperately looking for someone to come to their emotional rescue when they released their album of the same name in 1980.

But Manitowoc Chief Executive Glen Tellock was feeling very unemotional on Wednesday when speaking to the Reuters Manufacturing Summit about one of the company’s three businesses.

Maintowoc is comprised of three segments — cranes, foodservice equipment and marine. But on Wednesday, Tellock didn’t sound like his marine business was a sure bet to remain a part of the company for the long haul.

While Tellock said it was a business he “liked”, he said he was not very ”emotionally” tied to it or its long-term prospects.

Audio – US economic slowdown seen spreading

Want to get a clear sense of where the U.S. and world economies are headed?

A good place to start may be by asking the CEO of the world’s biggest trucking company, since truckers act as a leading indicator of economic activity.zollars-pic.jpg

Things aren’t looking so good right now, YRC Worldwide’s Chief Executive Bill Zollars told the Reuters Manufacturing Summit. YRC, with 900,000 customers worldwide, 66,000 employees in 80 countries, ships just about anything that will fit on a truck, and has been struggling for the last six months, Zollars told the Summit.

Audio – Growth Near and Far

owens2.jpgCaterpillar’s Chief Executive Jim Owens was in a lot better mood than many of his colleagues have been this week.

While most of the guests at this year’s Reuters Manufacturing Summit have been a little down in the mouth about the state of the U.S. economy, Owens was in pretty good spirits when he spoke at the summit on Tuesday.

Audio – If you’re in Florida, you can’t see this blog

santacana1.jpgA power outage that affected millions of electricity customers in Florida on Tuesday may be a sign of things to come.

U.S. utilities have underinvested in capacity in recent years, and densely populated areas where demand is high may be facing more future blackouts as a result — that’s according to the North American CEO of Swiss/Swedish engineering group ABB.

Audio – Caterpillar boss: Don’t fear the spread

owens1.jpgCaterpillar Chief Executive Jim Owens spoke about the possible spread of the recent housing crisis and other economic worries at the annual Reuters Manufacturing Summit.

While there is always the chance that the housing and residential construction crisis could extend beyond those businesses directly touched by it, he did not see it as a major concern just yet. 

Audio – Commodities giveth and commodities taketh away

griffith.jpgHigh commodities’ costs have been much on the minds of almost all of the executives at this year’s Reuters Manufacturing Summit.

For Timken Co Chief Executive Jim Griffith, the question is one the diversified company is addressing on a real-time basis and one it has gained some pricing power with its customers.

Audio – Flying high, now. Tomorrow, too.

cote1.jpg(With apologies to Rocky Balboa)

The global aerospace industry has been one of the real success stories of the past five years and, according to Honeywell Chief Executive Dave Cote, there’s more growth to come.

Despite concerns about the overall economy, Cote said at the Reuters Manufacturing Summit on Tuesday that the sector looks poised to continue to fly high.

Audio – Can Chinese car crashes be good for business?

herb1.jpgTurns out, they can! 

Global industrial companies have talked for years about the soaring demand in China for energy, infrastructure, machinery, know-how — you name it. But who knew car crashes could be good for business?

Well, according to Ingersoll-Rand CEO Herb Henkel, Chinese drivers’ poor safety record helps illustrate how China’s economy is becoming more consumer driven.

Audio – Peak? What peak?

agco1.jpgInvestors are always on the look-out for a peak.

In order to sock away some serious cash, the smart investor needs to identify a company’s and a businesses’ peaks and make their moves accordingly. Identifying a top (and a bottom, for that matter) allows stockholders clear entry and exit points.

While certain commodity costs have risen to bubble-type levels, others look like they might still have a ways to go higher, said Agco Chief Executive Martin Richenhagen. Unlike other bubbles, Richenhagen doesn’t see a burst.

Audio – Hey, where did the ‘challenging’ go?

stropki.jpgIn years past, business executives have used all kinds of buzz words that generated the expected amout of skepticism from people like reporters and editors who are lucky enough to read a lot of press releases.

One year, it’s “right-sizing” (That’s not good).

The next, it’s “head-winds” (Generally, that comes shortly before the right-sizing).

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